Bentley 4.5-litre 'Blower'
Tim Birkin - up in the air
Bentley 4.5-litre 'Blower'
£4.5 million Bentley 4.5-litre
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30th June, 2012
- Tim Birkin’s 4½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ Bentley single seater sets new world best for a Bentley at auction
- Brooklands racing machine underlines enduring appeal of the ‘Bentley Boy’ racing spirit
Just 35 miles away from the fabled Brooklands race circuit where it astonished thousands of spectators eight decades
ago by sprinting its way into the record books, Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin’s dramatic 4½ Litre Supercharged ‘Blower’ single
seat racing machine returned to record-breaking form by reaching a sale price of £4.5 million when auctioned by Bonhams
at the Goodwood Festival of Speed yesterday.
This new world-best for Birkin’s striking 240 bhp supercharged red racer now outstrips the previous record by a
Bentley at auction when the Speed Six known as ‘Old No 2’ achieved £2.8 million at the Le Mans Classic in 2004.
At its racing zenith and with the famously fearless and dashing ex-fighter pilot and Le Mans winner Birkin behind the
wheel, this unique Bentley was one of the undoubted stars of the high-risk Outer Circuit at Brooklands.
In March 1932 Birkin set a record 137.96 mph (219.93 km/h) at Brooklands, a feat even a man renowned for pushing back
the limits in motor sport would describe as hair-raising: “there are bumps which jolt the driver up and down in his
seat and make the car leave the road and travel through the air” said Birkin.
Commenting on the exploits of Birkin and his 4½ litre at Brooklands, Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of VIP
and Royal Relations comments:
“Birkin along with his Bentley racing friends like Woolf Barnato, Dudley Benjafield and Glen Kidston were true
sporting super stars, renowned not only for their driving ability and courage but living life to the full and in some
considerable style. They would create the enduring legend of the Bentley Boy racer at Brooklands and Le Mans and this new
record price for a Bentley achieved by Bonhams reflects the enduring respect and admiration for their story and their
Other Bentley news
Bentley’s global sales for first quarter 2012 increased by 46.6% with 1,759 cars delivered to customers.
This growth was led by the emergence of China as Bentley’s largest market with sales in the region up 84.9% (578 cars
delivered). The Americas remain a key market for Bentley with sales up by 35.6% (468 cars delivered). Uk sales were
stable, with 233 units sold. In the Middle East sales recovered with an increase of 82.6% (168 cars delivered) and
European sales also saw a 34.4% increase with 207 deliveries.